Forces of anti-science in America and elsewhere

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Forces of anti-science in America and elsewhere

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:45 pm

We're not only talking about right wing creationist fundamentalists and right wing man-caused climate change deniers (whether also creationist fundamentalists or not) - some of the current forces of anti-science/science misuse are from the left or from zealous hardline environmentalists 100% opposed to GM/nuclear power/fracking on principle because of feared impacts whether realistic or not. But Trump and co, supported by many (but not all) creationist fundamentalists at the November election because they hate 'liberals', hate evolution and hate taking inconvenient actions to minimise global warming, are a threat to the international consensus on what must be done to limit manmade climate change in particular.

A big March for Science is due in Washington DC this weekend - along with around 500 other cities in America and beyond, including London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and Norwich.

A particular short YouTube video has been posted featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson:

An article appeared recently in the New York Times: ... share&_r=1
It reveals the astonishing way in which 'evangelicals' (I think the writer may really mean 'fundamentalists') in America have felt free for years to deny point-blank (and without necessarily understanding properly what they are denying) various claims and findings from science - because of how they conflict with a 'biblical worldview'. I think a key paragraph in the article is the following: "... the worldview that has propelled mainstream Western intellectual life and made modern civilization possible is a kind of pragmatism. It is an empirical outlook that continually — if imperfectly — revises its conclusions based on evidence available to everyone, regardless of their beliefs about the supernatural. This worldview clashes with the conservative evangelical war on facts, but it is not necessarily incompatible with Christian faith."

Meanwhile I received an email today from the campaigners Avaaz. It included the following statement: "60 harvests -- that's all our planet has left. How is that possible? Soil is a building block for human life -- it's how we get 95% of our food. But mass pesticide use is so rapidly poisoning it that scientists say our earth could be useless for growing crops in just 2 generations. That's straight-up terrifying -- our children could live in a dustbowl and face food shortages of biblical proportions. But the vice grip of mega agriculture corporations like Monsanto on politics and messaging means that no one's talking about it." These statements, which I don't recall hearing previously, were not supported by links to one or more peer reviewed science papers. However, in their defence, Avaaz did provide this link: ... continues/ From reading it, it is apparent that this is a prediction by a senior UN official at the Food and Agriculture Organization. So there is probably something to it. Soil destruction - caused by the use of pesticides and other chemicals - could be storing up massive problems for future generations. If so, let's hope vested interests and those motivated by mainstream or fringe 'religious' denial are not listened to by policy makers.
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